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April 15, 2018

West Virginia sues Equifax over 2017 massive data breach

This past Thursday, West Virginia became the second state to sue Equifax due to last year’s massive data breach at the consumer reporting giant.

Patrick Morrisey, the West Virginia Attorney General, filed the lawsuit against Equifax, alleging that Equifax failed to safeguard consumer information of hundreds of thousands of state residents and for delaying alerting the public to a breach that exposed the personal data of about 148 million people.

Equifax is one of the three major credit bureaus in the United States and a frequent defendant in lawsuits filed by the Kittell Law Firm.  Last year, Equifax’s blunders allowed the largest data breach in the history of the world to occur, affecting roughly half the population of the United States, including approximately 730,000 West Virginians.

“Equifax’s failure to secure consumers’ personal information constitutes a shocking betrayal of public trust and an egregious violation of West Virginia consumer protection and data privacy laws,” Morrisey said in a statement.

Equifax is accused of failing to take action to secure its online dispute portal despite prior warnings of vulnerability within its framework and of failing to recognize that hackers had penetrated its system from May 2017 to July 2017.

West Virginia joins Massachusetts as the second state to sue Equifax over the 2017 data breach.  Maura Healey, the Massachusetts Attorney General, filed suit previously and recently beat back Equifax’s attempt to have the Massachusetts lawsuit dismissed.